What is Composting?

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Composting is the process of using waste to create nutrient rich humus that can be used as a fertilizer or as a medium to grow plants. Combining organic wastes such as yard trimmings, food wastes, manures and bulking agents such as wood chips helps microorganisms to break down the organic waste and turn it into rich matter.  

Decomposition occurs frequently in the ecosystem when vegetation or any type of organism dies. Composting is one way to recapture nutrients from food and yard waste, making what was once discarded useful again in the garden, while also reducing the volume of organic material sent to landfill. Composting can be done on a large scale in agricultural settings to produce fertilizer, or on brownfields to remediate soil. 

On a small scale composting occurs within the community and in many homes. Today, many municipalities are getting into the compost game and establishing services to collect compost on-site or at designated locations. The Biodegradable Products Institute offers information and resources to help find local composting sites. The US Composting Council offers a variety of free composting reports detailing benefits, uses, and practices for compost.  

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